Who: Dr. Robert Califf
New role: Califf will become an adviser for Verily Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet Inc., effective June 5. The move coincides with his return to Duke University, where he will be vice chancellor for health data science for Duke Health and director of the school's center for integrated health data science, which is still being developed.
Background: Califf served as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from February 2016 until January 2017; earlier he was deputy commissioner of medical products and tobacco. Previously, Califf had a research career at Duke of more than 30 years.
A controversial pick: Califf's nomination to lead the FDA was met with criticism over his financial ties with drugmakers while working as a Duke clinical researcher. Several lawmakers led efforts to temporarily hold up his confirmation vote over concerns that the agency under his direction would not do enough to address rising drug costs or issue tougher policies when reviewing new approvals of prescription opioid pain relievers.